Kathryn Lindsay
June 02, 2016 3:54 pm
Diversity Council Australia/ www.youtube.com

It’s always important to take a step back and consider how our language could be affecting those around us, and this new campaign launched by the Diversity Council of Australia is taking that to heart. In a video released on Tuesday, the Council highlights some of the ways we might not realize our language offends people in the workplace — that includes words like “guys.”

The video itself illustrates instances that can make people feel uncomfortable or undervalued in the workplace, like calling something “gay” when you’re saying it’s lame, or talking over people. However, David Morrison, a retired Army chief who helped launched the video, added to that list when he appeared on ABC News Breakfast in Australia.

“Exclusive language, gender-based language or inappropriate language, has as much a deleterious or disadvantaged effect as something where you’re saying something blatantly inappropriate to another human being,” he said. This, he believes, extends to even those words we use every day without thinking, which is why he’s making a conscious effort to remove the word “guys” from his lexicon “as best [he] can.”

This also applies to words like “girls,” which tend to come across as condescending. The best thing we can do is eliminate gendered language altogether, and avoid letting any unconscious biases affect how we do business.

This discussion continued over on Twitter, where people went back and forth about how necessary they feel these changes are, and gave their own suggestions about making workplaces more gender-neutral:

Whether you think terms like “guys” are a-okay or perpetuate unnecessary gender divides, this conversation is an important one. Let’s all be mindful of how we treat other people, and choose our words with respect.

Watch the full video below!

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